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Ellington Park Bistro commemorates its first Bastille Day in D.C. with free bubbly and a decadent chocolate dessert.
Ellington Park Bistto

Where to Ring in Bastille Day 2023 Around D.C.

Celebrate France’s national holiday with a brand-new Champagne bar, tasting menus, an Emily in Paris pop-up, and more

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Ellington Park Bistro commemorates its first Bastille Day in D.C. with free bubbly and a decadent chocolate dessert.
| Ellington Park Bistto

The D.C. dining scene is experiencing a French restaurant revolution as of late, so it should come as no surprise this year’s assortment of Bastille Day festivities seems bigger and better than ever. Widely celebrated worldwide, Bastille Day commemorates the start of the French Revolution with the storming of the Bastille in Paris on July 14, 1789.

With local establishments marking the holiday with complimentary Champagne pours, prix fixe dinners fit for Francophiles, bar carts filled with St.-Germain and Moët & Chandon, and themed fetes featuring mimes, caricaturists, and prizes for the best Parisian look, there’s no shortage of ways to honor the annual ode to France on and around Friday, July 14.

And for fantastic French food around D.C. on Bastille Day (and all year long), go here.

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Le Diplomate

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On Friday, July 14, Stephen Starr’s iconic French brasserie brings the party with a St.-Germain bar cart sending out drinks starring the beloved elderflower liqueur. Entertainment includes a live accordion player, face painter, (red, white, and blue) balloon twister, and on-site cartoonist, plus a mobile photo booth documenting late-night revelry from 6 p.m. to midnight. Come back for Bastille Day brunch (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) with returning interactive entertainment.

Le Diplomate welcomes back balloon twisters and face painters this year.
Le Diplomate

La Jambe

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Shaw’s dreamy French bar throws its 7th Bastille Day party with complimentary sparkling wine for every charcuterie board purchase, a wine-and-cheese basket giveaway, and more surprises. Reservations are recommended.

Lutèce.

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Georgetown’s essential neo-bistro celebrates the holiday all weekend (Friday, July 14 to Sunday, July 16) with French specials like ratatouille and steak frites from chef Matt Conroy. Advanced sommelier Chris Ray picked three wines just for the occasion: a sparkling Champ Divin’s Cremant du Jura; Chardonnay made by Fabrice Dodane; and fruity Syrah from Hervé Souhaut.

Ellington Park Bistro

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Every guest who dines in Dupont’s chic, months-old bistro on Bastille Day will receive a free glass of sparkling wine and chance to win a two-night summer stay upstairs in the St. Gregory hotel. Pastry chef Patrick Gannon whips up a chocolate Napoleon dessert for the evening, comprised of ganache, salted caramel mousse, espresso mousse, caramel cremeux, and bourbon butter pecan ice cream. Reservations can be made here

Ellington Park Bistro celebrates Bastille with free bubbly a decadent chocolate dessert.
Ellington Park Bistro

Le Clou

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Tucked off the lobby of NoMa’s stylish new Morrow Hotel, chef Nicholas Stefanelli’s love letter to French cuisine throws an epic inaugural Bastille Day dinner party (7 p.m. to midnight) augmented with mimes, a caricature artist, and a DJ. Tickets ($88 per person) include a three-course meal, Champagne greeting, and exclusive first look inside Vesper — Stefanelli’s sultry cocktail lounge debuting upstairs this fall. Le Clou also hosts themed brunch service all weekend, complete with holiday hats and party favors. Reservations can be made here

Le Clou’s beef Bourguignon (12-hour braised short rib, chubby Thumbelina carrots, Hakurei turnips, button mushrooms). 
Le Clou

L'Avant-Garde

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French chef Gilles Epié’s acclaimed new brasserie celebrates its first Bastille Day in Georgetown with a free glass of champagne for every dinner guest. Make a reservation here

L’Avant-Garde celebrates with free glasses of sparkling wine.
L’Avant-Garde

Bar Chinois

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Mt. Vernon Triangle’s high-energy hangout for Frenchified cocktails and Chinese dim sum hosts a big Bastille Day party from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m., complete with $40 bottles, $75 magnums, and a DJ starting at 11 p.m.

Opaline Bar and Brasserie

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Situated on scenic Lafayette Square, Opaline embraces Parisian sidewalk vibes for its annual Bastille Day celebration (4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.), complete with snow cones spiked with Belvedere and a Moët & Chandon cart offering complimentary tastings and discounted Champagne pours. Along with French fare from executive Kevin Lalli, look for French-ified cocktails and aperitifs, tunes from French DJ David Dupree, and a caricaturist. Prizes for the best Parisian attire include free overnight stays, cocktails, and brunch. 

Opaline’s pet-friendly patio offers a canine cocktail and dinner menu.
Opaline

La Bise

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The glitzy French staple next to the White House offers a three-course “Bonne Fête Nationale” menu to commemorate the holiday (4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.). Highlights from executive chef Michael Fusano include a choice of puffy gougéres made with 36-month aged Comte cheese, summer black truffle risotto, steak au poivre, and seasonal fruit pavlova. Priced at $75 per person, or $135 with wine pairings.

La Bise modern interior is filled with retro prints and artwork.
Greg Powers

Central Michel Richard

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Central Michel Richard decrees this as “Emily (& Michel) in Paris” week (Monday, July 10 to Friday, July 14) as a nod to the popular Netflix series. The late Richard’s legendary French bistro along Pennsylvania Avenue NW is currently decked out with French flags, with beret-donning servers dishing out limited-time dishes, French cocktails, and wines. Pop-up specials from executive chef David Barigault include chouquette (French pastry puffs), hachis parmentier (French beef and potato casserole), Parisian gnocchi, and macaroons. Central also hosts an Emily in Paris-themed party on Bastille Day from (4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.) across its patio and bar, with guests encouraged to wear their best Emily Cooper look.

The summery “Emily” salad features fresh shrimp and mango.
Central Michel Richard

Pirouette Café & Wine Shop

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The dreamy French cafe and wine bar in Arlington hosts special prix fixe dinners alongside regular service on Friday, July 14 and Saturday, July 15. The $75-per-person meal (with $35 French wine pairings) includes summer vegetables with smoked egg gribiche and braised rabbit leg with mustard jus and Parisian gnocchi.

BISTRO DU JOUR

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Stop by the Wharf’s resident French bistro on Bastille Day for day-of specials for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Bar Jo at Josephine

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Old Town’s charming new French bistro pops open its third-floor Champagne and sparkling cocktail bar on Bastille Day. Bar Jo centers around a dozen sparkling wines at any given time, showcasing grower Champagne and curated magnums from producers like Marc Hebrart and Laurent Perrier. The cozy bar also offers absinthe service and creative spins on spritzes, Kir Royale cocktails, and French 75s. The opening food menu features Josephine favorites like escargots, wagyu steak tartare, and imported cheeses, with canapes, rillettes, and terrines coming soon. French wine classes will be hosted by NRG wine director Erin Dudley every Wednesday. Going forward, hours are 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays.

Wood-framed Bar Jo starts pouring atop Josephine on Friday, July 14.
Rey Lopez/Leading DC

Le Diplomate

On Friday, July 14, Stephen Starr’s iconic French brasserie brings the party with a St.-Germain bar cart sending out drinks starring the beloved elderflower liqueur. Entertainment includes a live accordion player, face painter, (red, white, and blue) balloon twister, and on-site cartoonist, plus a mobile photo booth documenting late-night revelry from 6 p.m. to midnight. Come back for Bastille Day brunch (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) with returning interactive entertainment.

Le Diplomate welcomes back balloon twisters and face painters this year.
Le Diplomate

La Jambe

Shaw’s dreamy French bar throws its 7th Bastille Day party with complimentary sparkling wine for every charcuterie board purchase, a wine-and-cheese basket giveaway, and more surprises. Reservations are recommended.

Lutèce.

Georgetown’s essential neo-bistro celebrates the holiday all weekend (Friday, July 14 to Sunday, July 16) with French specials like ratatouille and steak frites from chef Matt Conroy. Advanced sommelier Chris Ray picked three wines just for the occasion: a sparkling Champ Divin’s Cremant du Jura; Chardonnay made by Fabrice Dodane; and fruity Syrah from Hervé Souhaut.

Ellington Park Bistro

Every guest who dines in Dupont’s chic, months-old bistro on Bastille Day will receive a free glass of sparkling wine and chance to win a two-night summer stay upstairs in the St. Gregory hotel. Pastry chef Patrick Gannon whips up a chocolate Napoleon dessert for the evening, comprised of ganache, salted caramel mousse, espresso mousse, caramel cremeux, and bourbon butter pecan ice cream. Reservations can be made here

Ellington Park Bistro celebrates Bastille with free bubbly a decadent chocolate dessert.
Ellington Park Bistro

Le Clou

Tucked off the lobby of NoMa’s stylish new Morrow Hotel, chef Nicholas Stefanelli’s love letter to French cuisine throws an epic inaugural Bastille Day dinner party (7 p.m. to midnight) augmented with mimes, a caricature artist, and a DJ. Tickets ($88 per person) include a three-course meal, Champagne greeting, and exclusive first look inside Vesper — Stefanelli’s sultry cocktail lounge debuting upstairs this fall. Le Clou also hosts themed brunch service all weekend, complete with holiday hats and party favors. Reservations can be made here

Le Clou’s beef Bourguignon (12-hour braised short rib, chubby Thumbelina carrots, Hakurei turnips, button mushrooms). 
Le Clou

L'Avant-Garde

French chef Gilles Epié’s acclaimed new brasserie celebrates its first Bastille Day in Georgetown with a free glass of champagne for every dinner guest. Make a reservation here

L’Avant-Garde celebrates with free glasses of sparkling wine.
L’Avant-Garde

Bar Chinois

Mt. Vernon Triangle’s high-energy hangout for Frenchified cocktails and Chinese dim sum hosts a big Bastille Day party from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m., complete with $40 bottles, $75 magnums, and a DJ starting at 11 p.m.

Opaline Bar and Brasserie

Situated on scenic Lafayette Square, Opaline embraces Parisian sidewalk vibes for its annual Bastille Day celebration (4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.), complete with snow cones spiked with Belvedere and a Moët & Chandon cart offering complimentary tastings and discounted Champagne pours. Along with French fare from executive Kevin Lalli, look for French-ified cocktails and aperitifs, tunes from French DJ David Dupree, and a caricaturist. Prizes for the best Parisian attire include free overnight stays, cocktails, and brunch. 

Opaline’s pet-friendly patio offers a canine cocktail and dinner menu.
Opaline

La Bise

The glitzy French staple next to the White House offers a three-course “Bonne Fête Nationale” menu to commemorate the holiday (4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.). Highlights from executive chef Michael Fusano include a choice of puffy gougéres made with 36-month aged Comte cheese, summer black truffle risotto, steak au poivre, and seasonal fruit pavlova. Priced at $75 per person, or $135 with wine pairings.

La Bise modern interior is filled with retro prints and artwork.
Greg Powers

Central Michel Richard

Central Michel Richard decrees this as “Emily (& Michel) in Paris” week (Monday, July 10 to Friday, July 14) as a nod to the popular Netflix series. The late Richard’s legendary French bistro along Pennsylvania Avenue NW is currently decked out with French flags, with beret-donning servers dishing out limited-time dishes, French cocktails, and wines. Pop-up specials from executive chef David Barigault include chouquette (French pastry puffs), hachis parmentier (French beef and potato casserole), Parisian gnocchi, and macaroons. Central also hosts an Emily in Paris-themed party on Bastille Day from (4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.) across its patio and bar, with guests encouraged to wear their best Emily Cooper look.

The summery “Emily” salad features fresh shrimp and mango.
Central Michel Richard

Pirouette Café & Wine Shop

The dreamy French cafe and wine bar in Arlington hosts special prix fixe dinners alongside regular service on Friday, July 14 and Saturday, July 15. The $75-per-person meal (with $35 French wine pairings) includes summer vegetables with smoked egg gribiche and braised rabbit leg with mustard jus and Parisian gnocchi.

BISTRO DU JOUR

Stop by the Wharf’s resident French bistro on Bastille Day for day-of specials for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Bar Jo at Josephine

Old Town’s charming new French bistro pops open its third-floor Champagne and sparkling cocktail bar on Bastille Day. Bar Jo centers around a dozen sparkling wines at any given time, showcasing grower Champagne and curated magnums from producers like Marc Hebrart and Laurent Perrier. The cozy bar also offers absinthe service and creative spins on spritzes, Kir Royale cocktails, and French 75s. The opening food menu features Josephine favorites like escargots, wagyu steak tartare, and imported cheeses, with canapes, rillettes, and terrines coming soon. French wine classes will be hosted by NRG wine director Erin Dudley every Wednesday. Going forward, hours are 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays.

Wood-framed Bar Jo starts pouring atop Josephine on Friday, July 14.
Rey Lopez/Leading DC

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